Working as a mystery shopper may not offer a lucrative salary, but it lets you enjoy other perks and benefits—free groceries, meals, check-ins in hotels, and the like.
You get to indulge in these things in return of recording and reporting on your observations in the establishment you just visited.
It sounds fun, right? The thing is, you will not find it fun once you found out that the secret shopper assignment that you did or planning to do is a scam. You can’t chase the mystery shopping provider and ask for your pay because chances are, they have blocked you in their contact list.
So to ensure that your time and effort aren’t wasted, do first your research and work only for the legitimate ones.
Join us as we share some of the best mystery shopping companies to work for.
What is Mystery Shopping?
But first, let’s discuss what this side hustle is all about. This job pays you to pretend like a regular paying customer. You’ll be asked to visit a physical store and purchase some of their products or try their services.
Then, you’ll have to provide feedback to the company on things such as cleanliness, customer service, product or service quality, and so on.
However, a cardinal rule must be kept in mind: every observation must be documented and reported objectively. Instead of saying “The frontline staff is rude”, state that “The staff did not smile or make eye contact.”
Once you have reported on your experiences, they will pay you a fee, and in most cases, they will ask you to make a purchase, then reimburse you up to a set dollar amount.
Legitimate Mystery Shopping Providers
About Face is among the top choices for secret shopper companies. It holds a positive reputation in the industry because of its great service and available sources for potential mystery shoppers.
The mystery shop provider boasts of an easy-to-use and attractive website, making it convenient for newbies to adopt the system. It notifies registered members of hot shops on their social media channels, which makes the store hunt a lot easier.
Pay range: 25 to 45 dollars
Secret Shopper has been in the mystery shopping business for more than two decades. It has received several awards including the MSPA Elite for 2018.
It helps clients improve their businesses using mystery shoppers to gather data. Secret Shopper doesn’t and has never charged anyone to become a shopper. For more information, you may visit Application Introduction.
Pay range: 12 to 25 dollars
Since 1987, BestMark has stayed true to its mission of evaluating and improving businesses through mystery shoppers.
The company is BBB credited and has received an A+ rating for its top-notch services. This mystery shopping provider offers over 10,000 assignments per month and also has contractors who perform exit interviews at various retail locations.
Pay range: 7 to 20 dollars (for starters)
IntelliShop has been helping thousands of businesses improve their overall customer experience for over 18 years.
Aspirant secret shoppers can choose from an extensive list of 50+ industries. IntelliShop’s website also provides them with a good deal of information such as detailed steps for what to expect and guidelines for accepting completed evaluations.
Pay range: 8 to 20 dollars (for starters)
MarketForce has been around since 2005 and is continually growing its global presence with offices in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, France, and Spain.
The renowned mystery shopping provider ranked in the American Marketing Association’s Gold Report of top 50 market research firms. It serves over 250 clients ranging from the Fortune 10 brands to emerging brands with high growth potential.
Pay range: 5 to 50 dollars
Work for the Best
Being paid to shop, dine-in and try new products is probably one of the best things in the world. You get paid in exchange for objective feedback.
To ensure you don’t fall into the trap of mystery shopper job scams, work only for the legitimate mystery shopping companies.